Senator welcomes doubling of Shared Island Fund

Ulster Canal investment among projects contained under plan

Up to €3.5 billion will be made available for cross-border projects and co-operation over the next 10 years under the terms of the National Development Plan.

Targets for investment include co-ordinated investment for improved roll-out of electric vehicle charge points; funding for all-island climate actions such as peatland restoration; and a continued focus on cross border health and education co-operation.

“The money will come from different funding streams and be used to develop infrastructure projects, climate action and skills and educational enhancement,” said Fianna Fail Senator Robbie Gallagher. “As part of the Government's commitment, the amount of money available under the Shared Island Fund will be doubled to €1 billion and its lifetime extended out to 2030,” said Senator Gallagher.

Some of the NDP's priority projects are already well known, including investment in the Ulster Canal. But there is also now a greater emphasis on sustainability, with action promised on developing and connecting greenway networks and climate mitigation measures, something Sen Gallagher has welcomed.

The ten-year plan will require collaboration between the Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and councils, particularly in the border regions.

The EU and UK governments will also be involved.

“It is understood there have already been detailed conversations to identify strategic priorities. The Taoiseach has said that the government’s ambition is to create a more connected, sustainable and prosperous island for all through a wide-ranging, sustained project of investment, delivered through all-island partnerships. Clearly there will be opportunities and benefits for the border counties into the future,” he concluded.